This latest event from MRS will examine emerging marketing tech trends, opening up new avenues for engagement, communication, prediction and personalisation and driving better experiences.

MRS brings together a superb set of inspiring case studies and thought provoking discussions focusing on the new opportunities being created by technology advancements. Hear how game changing technology is revolutionising insight creation and examine the latest insights that are supporting brands to get the most out of innovative marketing technologies.

  • Debate the ethics of marketing tech for targeted and predictive consumer strategies
  • Hear how to optimise conversational AI and Chatbot design for supreme insight collection and customer service
  • Identify new opportunities for brands in the evolving voice economy
  • Evaluate how Blockchain and AI is improving data quality and respondent experience in market research
  • Examine how developments in wearable tech and machine learning are creating exciting new opportunities to gather and scale up in-the-moment insights
  • Keep up to date with how VR is being deployed in research for decision forecasting

Radisson Blu Edwardian
9-13 Bloomsbury Street,London,WC1B 3QD

09.00 Registration and coffee

09.30 Opening comments from the Chair
Steve Phillips, CEO, Zappistore

09.40 The ethics of marketing tech

We all know technology, in its various guises, can be extremely effective at improving marketing efficiency, consumer experiences, and brand loyalty just to name a few. But, like many things, just because we can do this, does that mean we should? Join panellists who will:

  • Discuss the opportunities and threats of programming emotions and empathy into AI for marketing/communication purposes
  • Discuss examples of marketing tech which highlight ethical conundrums:
    • Making the journey to purchase easier of high APR credit products to those most in need of credit i.e. the most vulnerable
    • Using facial recognition technology to determine an individual’s sexuality in the context of a dating app to improve the customer experience
    • Determining whether customers should be inform when their conversation is with a chatbot
    • Questioning whether customers need to know they are being recorded for video analysis shopper research
  • Assess how best to navigate the paradox between meeting consumers’ expectations of a tailored and individual marketing strategy and managing their concerns about the sharing and use of data

Chaired by:

Bethan Blakeley, Director, Honeycomb


Minter Dial, Author of Heartificial Empathy, Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence

Julian Dailly, SVP, Savanta

Melanie Lewis, Head of Business Development, Maru/Matchbox


10.10 The art of AI-powered conversational design

Three presentations examining design principles, good practices and challenges for conversational AI and chatbots as a research platform and as customer service channel.

Just Message Me

How many times have you’ve said to someone “just message me”? Often right?  It feels so natural!  To have conversations is to be human… yet how we are having them is changing dramatically.   The growth of messaging platforms, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat has eclipsed social media, with billions of active daily users around the world.   And this in itself has provided the perfect foundation for the unprecedented rise of Conversational AI.

In this session Kantar will explain how they view Conversational AI as the catalyst driving the next generation of truly smart modes of conversation and understanding, holding the promise of delivering rich, nuanced insight to develop businesses thinking and strategy. Hear real-world examples where this new expertise has enabled Kantar to leverage deep exploration at scale to drive agile business decision making and brand growth.

Dr Ansie Lombaard, Senior Global Innovation Director, Kantar


10.35 Talking with Machines: Chatbots and AI as powerful insights tools

On The Go is a digital conversational research platform developed to interact with audiences increasingly difficult-to-engage, in a mobile only generation. In this session, On The Go's Founder and CEO, will share some insights gathered during 3 years of researching with Chatbots including: best practices, success stories, recent experiences, limitations and challenges that faces ahead.  What is the role of this technology in the future of insights industry? 

João Pedro Calixto, Founder and CEO, On The Go Survey Chatbots

11.00 Developing compelling digital conversations: Chatbots 2.0
Chatbots are evolving as service channel in their own right. There has been an explosion of chatbots across all customer facing businesses and consequently, customer expectations of chatbots are increasingly an abstraction of customer experience. Working in partnership with Illuminas, RBS sought to review the new breed of chatbots, set against shifting customer expectations. The findings provide key insights around chatbot conversational design and flow, along with acknowledging the role of agency in ensuring an effective digital discourse. They highlight new requirements and implications for brands.

Julian Adams, Director, Illuminas

Ian Goulding, Customer Insight, RBS


11.25 Morning refreshments


11.55 Visual search – a picture is worth a thousand words

Visual Search is unleashing a wave of marketing innovation, serving up more stimulating ways for consumers to explore new products, services and locations. This session will present an inside look at new AI ad innovations shaping the future of inspiration-driven discovery and engagement.

  • Examining the potential of visual search for both consumers and advertisers, and how to best communicate its value to key segments
  • Map consumer journeys across retail ecosystems to uncover pain points and opportunities to enhance the shopping experience
  • Identify where “social” ?ts into the visual search equation, and use cases with the most potential to drive momentum for the technology

Fotoulla Damaskos, SVP, Brand Strategy & Innovation, National Research Group


12.20 Using AI and Machine Learning for Horizon Scanning

Reckitt Benckiser (RB) wanted to know not just what sustainability looks like now, but what the future will look like. What materials and ingredients will people be looking to exclude after plastic? What does pipeline transparency look like beyond ingredient sourcing?

To explore this, RB commissioned to produce inspirational exploratory work with breadth, depth and at speed; using machine learning technology and a natural language processing algorithm to scrape a huge number of online sources.  This case study demonstrates how AI technology can be harnessed for horizon scanning and targeted to pull out future-facing insights to find new perspectives on a topic.

Hannah Marcus, Strategist,

Mariline Alsuar-Dean, New Research Methods Lead, RB Health


12.55 Lunch


13.55 Boosting quality insights by putting artificial intelligence to work

Artificial intelligence can have a significant impact on two challenges that continue to plague quality in the market research industry: fraud and respondent experience. As fraud becomes more advanced, dynamic detection techniques that leverage AI and machine learning can help quickly identify patterns and detect anomalies at scale. For respondents, this same technology can utilise available data points to match respondents with appropriate surveys, reducing churn and improving respondent targeting and conversion rates. This session provides a detailed examination of AI’s impact on fraud and respondent experience, as well as how to practically apply these technologies to improve outcomes and quality.

JD Deitch, CRO, Cint / P2Sample


14.20 Is Blockchain the silver bullet for data quality in market research?

The declining quality of online quantitative data is prompting cause for concern. So Kadence International partnered with Unilever Food Solutions to conduct a ground-breaking trial of blockchain technology to explore how blockchain can be used in market research and, crucially to understand the impact on data quality. This session will explore:

  • What role blockchain technology can play in increasing data quality
  • How to use blockchain technology to collect data in a way that empowers consumers
  • How blockchain technology influences consumers' willingness to share data – both self-reported and passively collected data

Rupert Sinclair, Insight Director, Kadence

Olivia Derbyshire, CMI Manager, Unilever Food Solutions


14.45 Panel session: future of voice technologies

  • Discussing how voice technology may develop in the future and the implications for brands and agencies:
    • Split between utility, content marketing, or the voice app is the product
    • How could improved poly voices create a more human like experience?
  • Examining the evolving voice economy:
    • In app purchase model of digital goods being pushed by Amazon / Google
    • Physical good purchasing model using Amazon Pay / Google Pay / Own payment provider
    • Advertising formats / platforms created by Google / Amazon to promote Actions / Skills
  • Build or buy: exploring different routes brands can take with voice technology
    • In house team vs voice agencies
    • Using blueprints / drag and drop solutions
    • Using third party development frameworks vs platform specific coding
  • Considering ethical and privacy hurdles for the industry to overcome

Chaired by:

Morgane Constanty, User Research and Insights Lead - Alexa Text-to-Speech, Amazon UK


Steph Clarke, Research Manager, IAB UK

John Campbell, Managing Director & Founder, Rabbit And Pork

Colin Strong, Head of Behavioural Science, Ipsos

Sophie Harding, Futures Director, Mindshare


15.15 Afternoon refreshments


15.35 Tech driven disintermediation: boosting the impact of research

Large and fast insight generation is frequently difficult to disseminate across organisations causing sharing bottlenecks. In addition, research analysis alone often misses more powerful connections between research data and other sources of company data.

This session will outline how Savanta is working with an online/ app food delivery company on embracing the opportunity for tech driven disintermediation within research to improve proliferation of insights and to increase connections between research data and client proprietary data. Examine the powerful observations about marketing ROI, service profit chain and the role of advertising in business building that are being achieved.

Julian Dailly, SVP, Savanta


16.00 Virtual reality for decision forecasting

The role of virtual reality (VR) in decision insights has evolved from 2D (1980’s) to 3D to fully immersive VR proving time and again that photorealistic simulations of real life stores are generally accurate at predicting market share movements and consumer responses to price changes and provide rich observational data. In this session Kantar will demonstrate its latest work in this space:

  • Examining how VR is being used for improved forecasting
  • Integrating eye-tracking with virtual simulations to improve market forecasts
  • Combining the power of adaptive algorithms with VR to replicate consumer decision journey for high involvement purchases

Surbhi Minocha , Associate Vice President, Kantar


16.25 Wearable tech: taking us into moments

Wearable research tech connected to internet via smart phones can shine light onto customer journeys, brand interaction, city planning, utility usage. It can layer on top of bio data to help decision makers understand the moments that matter from an emotional and experiential point of view, in real time.


This case study shows how new wearable technology can predict sales patterns of fine fragrances. Explore how IoT in research is capturing the momentary emotional experience taking neuroscience out of the lab and into real world.

Richard Heath, Managing Director, Blue Yonder


16.50 Incorporating machine learning into video analysis tech for large scale unconscious insight

A new machine learning driven tech solution that recently launched in Australia acts as “automated mass observation” of shoppers in real stores doing actual shopping trips. The solution provides the first ever large scale (quant) metrics on the efficiency of conversion, store traffic patterns and the real effectiveness of displays and gondola ends. Hear findings from the Australian launch and UK pilots.

Roger Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, Shopper Intelligence


17.15 Drinks reception sponsored by Savanta

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